Integrating undergraduate education and scientific discovery through field research in igneous petrology
David Gonzales, Steven Semken 2006 Journal of Geoscience Education v54 p133-142
We recast a standard igneous petrology course at Fort Lewis College into a field-based, inquiry-driven research course focused on a specific field area, in this case the Tertiary volcanic complex at Ship Rock, Navajo Nation, New Mexico. The main goal was to allow undergraduate students an opportunity to use field work to investigate advanced topics in igneous petrology while engaging in scientific research and developing important skills that are needed for all careers in science. Constructing research projects around this class enabled students to learn science by doing it, and to carry enthusiasm for research into further studies. This also better served the needs of the Geoscience program at Fort Lewis College by further developing skills for critical analysis and inquiry, and building on content taught in the introductory petrology course.